St Laurence Lodge Met in the Andaz Hotel, Liverpool Street.
On the 13th February 2016, St Laurence Lodge held a meeting in the masonic temple in the Andaz Hotel. It is situated in Liverpool Street, and was formerly known as the Great Eastern Hotel. The Lodge carried out a double first degree ceremony. This was so that all members of the lodge and their guests could attend, including entered apprentices. It was a wonderful opportunity to view this magnificent temple and proved to be a marvellous experience.
These photos were taken on the day.
The Hotel was built in 1884 as the Great Eastern Hotel. It was one of the city’s original “railway hotels”.
It is an impressive mixture of Victorian craftsmanship with modern interiors, designed by Charles Barry Jnr and Edward Barry. They were the sons of Sir Charles Barry, who rebuilt the Palace of Westminster. Charles Barry Jnr also designed the masonic temple, which was built in 1912 at a cost of some £50,000. This would be equivalent to around £4 million by today’s prices.
In later years, when the tourism industry boomed in London, hotels of all sizes sprang up across the city. At the same time cars gradually replaced trains as the primary mode of transport. Therefore, sadly, the Great Eastern Hotel soon fell behind the times and fell into decline.
In 1996, designer Terence Conran refurbished the Hotel. During the restoration, engineers noticed a few discrepancies in the blueprints. They removed one of the walls and found a wood-panelled antechamber. Therein, on the other side of a studded double door, was a vast and opulent masonic temple.
This previously forgotten temple is probably one of the most grandiose in London. Neoclassic in style, the windowless room is known as the “Grecian Temple.” It boasts a golden organ, hand-carved mahogany chairs, bronze candelabras, and no less than 12 different types of marble. The marble was used throughout the temple, in the floor, columns, and walls. A blue and gold dome covers much of the ceiling, which bears a five-pointed “blazed star” and zodiac signs. The room conforms to the classic Masonic temple layout with a black and white chequered floor and discreet esoteric symbols. It is beautiful!